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The Evolution of Family Farms in Poland: Present Time and the Weight of the Past

Typ publikacji: artykuły w czasopiśmie
Opis bibliograficzny: Halamska Maria (2016) The Evolution of Family Farms in Poland: Present Time and the Weight of the Past. Eastern European Countryside, No. 22, Toruń:Nicolaus Copernicus University, Department of Sociology, 27-51.
DOI: 10.1515/eec-2016-0002
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The author provides an analysis of family farming in Poland during the period 1990-2012, with special attention towards the  close links of  ownership and the  operation of  the farm by family members. The  weight of  various factors is  given close attention, including the  historical context of  the farm, current conditions, and future intentions for the farm.

The historical context acknowledges and stresses the importance of the late abolition of  serfdom made by the  partitioning powers, various agricultural reforms during the period 1919-1944, and the period 1948-1989 (when family farming was incorporated into a  deficient centrally planned economy). This latter period saw family farms developing specific mechanisms of functioning, which can be seen two decades later. Analysis of the period 1990-2012 is based on data of the Central Statistical Office, the present study, and other published materials. The  data series includes individual farms of  more than 1 ha, based on family labour.

Separated are two sub-periods: the post-communist transformation period from the  early 1990s, and the  period 2002-2012. The  latter almost coincides with the accession to the EU. In the first period, the article outlines the process of creating duality in Polish agriculture. This describes a group of family farms where the  household strongly reacted to the  market and became larger and modernised (professional – 1/3 of the total) and small, extensive and producing mainly for own consumption (semi-subsistence – 2/3). In the  second period, the functioning and transformation of households taking place under the CAP are examined. Modernisation is  primarily seen on  the professional farm. Specific mechanisms can be seen that provide fairly stable functioning of semisubsistence farms, independent of  the market, with non-farm incomes and agricultural social security. These farms resisted collectivisation and stopped and hindered modernisation during the communist period, and this post-communist transformation now requires a doubly controlled modernisation process